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Suzanne and Doug Metzgar

How Idaho School Choice Helps Us Dream Big For Our Children

By Suzanne Metzgar
My husband and I have two smart, warm-hearted and beautiful daughters. (Yes, I’m gushing!) While they’re only one grade apart, they’re as different as day and night.
Our oldest daughter loves math, art and music – disciplines that are closely aligned and suit her creative mind. Our youngest is an avid reader, prolific writer and intense debater.
We’re carefully considering their interests and skills as we begin looking at college options. It would be very convenient for us if both of our girls attended the same college, but it wouldn’t provide them with the best opportunities for their futures if that college didn’t complement their talents and career goals.
Like every parent, we dream big for our children and whenever possible we try to personalize opportunities to meet their individual needs, interests and skills. We know our children well and want to provide them with every opportunity to grow and succeed in college and beyond. The same principles apply to their K-12 education.
There is a great school a few blocks from our home. We visited the school to learn about their curriculum, electives and specials programming, and learning environment. While we could see that many students were thriving there, it wasn’t the best fit for our oldest daughter. We wanted more rigorous math instruction, music programming and character education that aligned with our values. So we made a different choice for her, one that suited her better and offered her the best chance of success. We see the impact of our choice not only in her academic achievement but in her confidence and personal growth.
We are so grateful to live in a state where families have the option to choose the school that best fits a child’s needs. We were able to find the perfect fit for our daughter, just like we will when it comes time to choosing a post-secondary path.
As we prepare to celebrate National School Choice Week (January 24-30, 2016), I’m reminded of how fortunate we are to live in a state that provides parents with options to select the best K-12 education environments for their individual kids. These options include traditional public schools, public charter schools, public magnet schools, online learning, private schools and homeschooling–and Idaho offers all of them. Join us, and more than 1,200 students, parents and teachers, who will gather on the steps on the Capitol steps on January 27, 2016 at Noon to celebrate these effective education options for children.
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